My friend allowed her 12-year-old daughter to get on TikTok (with very tight restrictions). Not 24 hours later, my friend asked me, “What does FYP mean?” Her daughter was using TikTok slang after just one day.
TikTok slang is tricky because a lot of it (like POV, accountant, and Heather) is familiar to people who aren’t on TikTok, but it doesn’t mean what we think it means. So while your kid is over there dancing in front of a mirror moving just her upper body, let us translate 30 things you’ll see or hear on TikTok, or out of your young TikTok user’s mouth.
FYP is short for “For Your Page,” which is the timeline of videos fed to you based on what’s popular and your own personal algorithm.
This word at the end of a sentence (before the actual period) is there for emphasis. It means “end of discussion.”
3. And That’s On
Similar to “periodt,” using “and that’s on” is a way to reinforce a message, or to say, “and that’s that.” You can even combine the two like so: “Mint chocolate chip is the ultimate ice cream flavor, and that’s on periodt.”
Just like in real life, this is short for “chief executive officer.” If you’re the CEO of good hair, your hair is looking good.
This one means “profile picture.” TikTok content creators add #PFP to videos with cool images for profile pictures or to make fun of some of the wild profile pictures you can find on TikTok. It can also mean “picture for proof.”
POV is TikTok slang for, well, point of view. No surprise there. But it’s used to let the viewers know they are meant to watch it from their own perspectives.
This sound you make when you get punched in the gut also means “one of my followers.”
If you’re recalling the ’80s film, you’re not far off. If you use “Heather” to describe a person, you might mean the person you’re referring to is a snob or a mean girl. But it has a second meaning thanks to a 2020 song by Conan Gray. Calling a girl a “Heather” in this context is saying she’s gorgeous and desirable.
9. Vibe Check
Evaluating the vibe someone gives off.
10. Caught in 4K
OK, stay with me on this one. “Caught in 4K” means to catch someone on camera reacting to something. It’s gained popularity because of the “Hey Lol” audio challenge, which is when the person recording plays a song that samples a song used on Porn Hub. When the person being recorded looks up because he recognizes the song, the reaction is “caught in 4K.”
IB is short for “inspired by” and you’ll see it when a video was inspired by a viral or notable video.
Similar to IB, this abbreviation is about giving credit to other TikTok creators. DC means the user is giving “dance credits” to the originator of a viral dance or challenge.
13. Alt TikTok vs Straight TikTok
Alt (short for alternative) TikTok is known as the “good” side of TikTok and has more authentic, less cringe-worthy content. Straight TikTok is the more mainstream content (think dance videos).
A duet is when two videos are played side-by-side. One is the original and the other is someone either reacting to, singing along with, or commenting on the original. People might use it to get more exposure, i.e. “duet me if you like me.”
15. Main Character
This one is TikTok slang for “the star.” For example, “I put on that dress and walked into that office like I was the main character.” Someone can also have “main character energy.”
If you’re trying to figure out what these letters stand for, don’t waste your brainpower. People use it to try to get more views on their videos.
17. Lives in My Mind Rent-Free
This phrase is used to say you love a video or meme. It’s kind of the opposite of wishing you could unsee or get something out of your head.
It’s short for reality shifting and basically means shifting your mind to a different reality.
This TikTok slang is referring to comments. If you’ve been “ratioed,” it means your comment has more replies than likes, which is not good.
The origin of this word is pretty raunchy, but it basically means a guy who is desperate to hook up with a girl. It also can mean having a crush.
21. Pick Me Girl
A “pick me girl” is the female version of a simp. So it’s a girl who thinks she’s not like other girls and is worth picking.
22. Put a Finger Down
This is a challenge that comes from the game Never Have I Ever. In the background, audio plays of a person listing a series of activities. When the person recording herself hears one she’s done, she puts a finger down. This is definitely one for parents to listen out for.
23. Put You Onto Something
It’s another way of saying “let me show you something.”
24. Towel on a Guy’s Head
A guy with a towel on his head is playing the role of a girl in the video.
If you’ve been shadowbanned, your content has been blocked by TikTok without you knowing it.
This means “check this out.”
27. It’s the ___ for me!
This one will definitely slip into your kid’s lexicon. It’s a way to point out how you’ve been affected. It can be in reference to something you dislike. For example, when talking about an ugly outfit, one can say, “It’s the color for me.” Or it can be a general comment on a video, for example, a funny video of a guy pretending to be a clown could get the comment, “It’s the red nose for me.”
28. Day 1
TikTok creators use Day 1 to signify a fresh start or letting go of a relationship.
This one refers to the phrase “I’m an accountant,” which is a way to dodge questions about your profession or how you get money because no one follows up after you tell them you’re an accountant.
This is what it’s called when someone changes his or her clothes or looks by putting his or her hand (or another object) in front of the screen. When the hand is pulled back, the person’s appearance or the whole scene is different.
What TikTok slang or trends are your kids into?